It didn’t take long for the ‘Hawks to get off to another fast start. Forty-five seconds into the game, Martin Havlat steamed past Calgary defenseman Robyn Regehr and flipped the puck to Dave Bolland crashing the net. The puck deflected off Bolland’s hand but since he was pulling his hand back into his body and not actively trying to deflect it, the goal stood and the ‘Hawks drew first blood. Calgary answered back about five minutes later when the Fugitive came out of the penalty box and snuck past Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook. Jarome Iginla threaded the needle and sprung the Fugitive who deked Khabibulin to knot the game at 1.
Just sixteen seconds later, Troy Brouwer (BROUWER POWER!!!) took the body perfectly on the forecheck. He knocked the Calgary defenseman off the puck, Bolland picked up the loose puck and fed it to a wide open Andrew Ladd who laced it over Kiprusoff’s shoulder. Had it not been for a nice individual effort by Dion Phaneuf to tie it with five minutes in the first, this one could been over a lot quicker. Alas, Phaneuf tied it with just under six minutes left when he beat three ‘Hawks to a loose puck and roofed it over Khabibulin’s shoulder.
The ‘Hawks dominated the early part of the second. At one point, they were outshooting the Flames 9-1. The Havlat-Bolland-Ladd line had a particularly dominating shift at the halfway mark. Brent Seabrook rang a one-timer off the post and it looked as though Calgary was going to catch a huge break because the ‘Hawks couldn’t capitalize. Instead, Matt Walker floated a seemingly harmless shot towards the net that looked to be headed wide. Adam Burish made a really nice deflection to squeeze it past Kiprusoff and the ‘Hawks were in complete control for the rest of the way. Serious credit goes to Burish who’s had a really nice road trip. With the goal, he’s now matched his goal output from a year ago.
In the third, Colin Fraser outworked a Calgary defenseman to a loose puck and with one hand, banged it off Kiprusoff’s shoulder. The third period saw the ‘Hawks control the tempo for extended lengths of time. The natives grew restless and there were more than enough boos to go around for the Flames. It wasn’t until about half way through the period that they started to sustain some pressure. Then, Khabibulin does what he always does against Calgary; snuffs out any chances. Troy Brouwer finished off Calgary by potting an empty netter with 2 minutes left.
Just a quick side note: How silly did the Flames look taking two awful penalties? The first one came when Adam Pardy decided Martin Havlat was standing too close to his goalie and unleashed about three haymakers to the side of his head. Then in the third after Colin Fraser scored, Andre Roy and Robyn Regehr decided to crash the ‘Hawks goal celebration. Roy took a running start at Matt Walker and shoved him into the boards. Then on his way to the box, he was grabbing any of the ‘Hawk players he could get his hands on. It’s too bad the ‘Hawks didn’t capitalize on any of those power plays because they really would’ve put the exclamation point on a dominating season series.
The ‘Hawks will conclude their raping and pillaging through Western Canada when they play the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night. From there, they venture to Atlanta where Pat Foley will call a game between the Atlanta Flames and the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night and the ‘Hawks will play a game against the Thrashers.